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I am too lazy to copy/paste, mainly due to pic links, so you bastards will have to go to the "other" forum to read my post on the "Walkable City" book


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As a test, here is what a raw copy/paste looks like.  Hmm = perfect!  :D Smilies (Graemlins), pics, links, and all!


This is a most excellent book.  Besides the superb informative and interesting content, I love how the book is sort of "outlined" on the fly, with sort of "subchapters" that are listed under the main chapter.




Speck lists "The Ten Steps of Walkability" (get it - MC? icon_biggrin.gif). 


Step #3 is "Get Parking Right", and here is where Shoup comes in.  Speck dedicates that chapter to Shoup, the guru of parking, the guy who wrote "The High Cost of Free Parking".  The gist is that most city zoning requires generous off-street parking to be provided with new projects, so that raises the cost for everyone, driver or not.  And it even applies to renovations, so that stops many projects to revitalize old buildings in their tracks. icon_frown.gif  A big point of Shoup's is that off-street and on-street parking rates need to be coordinated, since in many cities on-street is way cheaper than off-street, so the result is cars circling the block looking for scarce cheap on-street spots while expensive off-street parking sits underutilized.  He says that on-street shoudl be priced so that it is 85% utilised.  But you know what happens when you try to take away something from people that was previously "free".  An interesting endnote was that in the depths of the 2008 recession, Chicago sold parking rights to Morgan Stanley for 75 years!  So that takes away a big city planning tool, and also sort of sells out the residents, because 85% full at one price is less profitable than half full at twice the price.


So all  in all, a very satisfying book for people like me who think it is just insane the way cars have taken over our lives and country.  Interesting that he said he also has loved cars since he was a kid, just like me.  But I also love being able to do without one most of the time, as in bikes, walking, mass transit, even Zip cars if need be.  Interesting, that NYC, or actually Manhattan, is very often cited as perhaps the country's most walkable city, largely because it is confined to a small island so it doesn't have the luxury to spread out and pave itself with parking lots.  A particularly poignant observation in this chapter was to check out just how much of cities like Houston are paved for parking on Google Earth or Maps.


I am sort of a city-phobe, but I must admit I have enjoyed a few recent visits to NYC, all via train from NJ.  For me a large part of my cityphobia is definitely the whole driving and parking nightmare.  Now that at least NYC has gotten crime way done, my next phobia is high cost, and here is where taking the train feels so darn good as compared to driving!  With the $8-13 Lincoln Tunnel and dog knows what to park, driving is a definite non-starter.



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